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Monday, 10 September, 2001, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Literary immortality open to bidders
Terry Pratchett
Discworld author Pratchett is the UK's best-selling writer
A group of Britain's top authors is offering a shot at literary immortality - in return for a contribution to charity.

For the second time the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture is auctioning the chance to be a fictional character in a novel.

Margaret Atwood
Atwood won the 2000 Booker prize
Writers Margaret Atwood, Pat Barker, Ken Follett, Robert Harris, David Lodge, Ian McEwan, Terry Pratchett and Zadie Smith have all agreed to name a character in their forthcoming books after those prepared to pay most for the privilege.

The auction takes place on 16 October at Bafta in London.

Last year's event raised almost £25,000 when authors Sebastian Faulks, Nick Hornby, Kathy Lette, Louis de Bernières, Hanif Kureshi and Jim Crace sold the names of characters in books they were about to write.


A spokesman for the charity told BBC News Online: "Last year we were slightly concerned about the auction as only a couple of thousand people turned up.

"But when bidding started we knew we'd get a good result.

"Hopefully this year, with more authors, we'll do even better."

Zadie Smith
Smith: A runaway success with White Teeth
Two of last year's bidders have already appeared in print.

Janet Walder, appeared in Nick Hornby's How To Be Good in return for a contribution of £2,050 - and Sheila Milward appeared in Sebastian Faulks' On Green Dolphin Street after a £2,800 bid.

This year's line-up includes three Booker Prize winners.


Atwood won the Booker Prize in 2000 with her novel The Blind Assassin, and is joined by other Booker Prize winners Barker (The Ghost Road) and McEwan (Amsterdam).

Lodge has been listed twice for the prize and his novels often inhabit the upper reaches of the British bestseller list.

The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture is a charity which provides medical treatment and psychotherapy to survivors of torture.

It has treated more than 25,000 clients in the 16 years since it began work.

See also:

06 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Readers flock to buy literary roles
06 Dec 00 | UK
Booking a place in history
05 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Novel roles up for sale
07 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Atwood wins Booker Prize
15 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Booker near-misses aim for Whitbread
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